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NUS Life Science Module Review: LSM1106 Molecular Cell Biology

Probably the easiest of the three 1k life science core modules. No need to read materials extensively like 1105 or practice a lot of problem-solving questions like 1102. Workload-wise, it is quite chill: two 1.5h lecture sessions every week and biweekly 3h lab sessions starting from week 3. Some of the lecture slots were allocated for tutorial sessions (solving some quantitative or conceptual problems) while a few slots were left unoccupied.

This module mostly discussed biochemistry stuff rather than cell biology itself. The first part was taught by A/P Too which covered an overview of cell biology, chemical forces, buffers, amino acids, and proteins. I would say that he is good at making class interactive, but I don’t like the way he makes the lecture materials: 80+ slides without clear organization and no highlight on the important concepts (there are too many “side-dishes” and unnecessary visuals, so you might be worried about what key points are needed for the exam). The second part was taught by Dr. Long. I really like the way he delivered the materials about the enzyme, its kinetics and regulation, and cellular oxygenation. His lecture notes are self-sufficient and well-organized because there is a continuous flow of each concept. He also added only important concepts/facts and was very open for discussion (make sure you try to answer conceptual questions he posted on LumiNUS forum). The third part was taught by Dr. Adrian and mostly memorizing facts about the remaining biomolecules: lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids. The last part on the cell signaling was quite interesting.

For the practicals, the first session was on amino acid titration. The second and the third were on quantitative protein estimation and enzyme kinetics, respectively, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, both were held online (we missed the chance to work on spectrophotometer which I think one of the most basic yet important instruments for research). This module was also the first to introduce proper lab report writing to me (I was so lucky to get a passionate lab assistant which gave me so many insights and feedbacks about the experiments as well for my report).

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